Psychologists define 'the dark core of personality'

Egoism, Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, spitefulness share a common 'dark core'. If you have one of these tendencies, you are also likely to have one or more of the others.

Psychologists define 'the dark core of personality'
Dark core of personality

Main titles

  • The 'dark triad' of negative tendencies is comprised of psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism.
  • New research shows that all dark aspects of human personality are very closely linked.
  • Most dark traits can be understood as flavoured manifestations of a single core of personality.
  • The common denominator of all dark traits, the D-factor, can be defined as: The general tendency to maximize one’s individual utility - disregarding, accepting, or malevolently provoking disutility for others -, accompanied by beliefs that serve as justifications.
  • Ingo Zettler, Professor of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen, and two German colleagues, Morten Moshagen from Ulm University and Benjamin E. Hilbig from the University of Koblenz-Landau, have demonstrated how this common denominator is present in nine of the most commonly studied dark personality traits:
  • Egoism - indulgence in self interest.
  • Machiavellianism -  a belief that the end justifies the means.
  • Moral disengagement -  a belief that ethical standards do not apply to oneself.
  • Narcissism - excessive admiration in oneself.
  • Psychological entitlement - a belief that one is entitled to more than others.
  • Sadism - deriving pleasure from inflicting pain on others.
  • Self-interest - pursuing advantage without regard to others.
  • Spitefulness - willingness to cause malice.

Study: University of Copenhagen, Ulm University, University of Koblenz-Landau